Cocker Spaniel Alternate Names
A prominent ridge at the forehead distinguishes him from the English Cocker Spaniel.
Cocker Spaniel Appearance
Body: Compact, well-balanced, and sturdy with a strong, sloping back.
Coat: Long, thick, silky and flowing with abundant feathering on the ears, chest, abdomen, and legs. Can be flat or somewhat wavy.
Color: Black, ASCOB (any solid color other than black), and parti-color. Also, chocolate, red, buff, sable, black and tan, chocolate and tan, tricolor (white, black and tan), and roan (rarely).
Ears: Long, at eye-level and beautifully feathered with silky hair.
Eyes: Slightly almond-shaped with round eyeballs and a soft, alert, and intelligent expression.
Feet: Large, round, and tight with horny pads.
Head: A rounded skull with a deep, well-defined stop, smooth forehead, square muzzle, black or brown nose, prominent eye brows, and a prominent ridge at the forehead (which distinguishes him from the English Cocker Spaniel).
Legs: Forelegs are muscular, straight, and well-boned set into deep, sloping shoulders. Hind legs are well-muscled and heavily boned.
Neck: Muscular and somewhat arched, tapering from shoulders to head.
Weight: 24 – 28 pounds
Height: 14 – 15 inches
Tail: Usually docked.
Cocker Spaniel Behavior
Recommended for novice dog handlers
Not easily housetrained
Good with children and with the elderly
The American Cocker Spaniel is even-tempered, friendly, and playful. This kind, sensitive dog thrives on human companionship. He is the most popular of all the American-born breeds which is attributable to his gentle, affectionate, and charming personality. He is good with children and friendly with strangers and other animals.
The Cocker Spaniel is most popular as a companion dog. However, he continues to retain his hunting instincts and abilities. As a sporting dog he requires a great deal of daily exercise to keep his athletic body in shape. He loves to go for walks and to play games in the yard.
He is a sensitive dog who will respond best to positive and rewarding obedience training. Make his training fun by using praise and treat-type rewards. The treats can be gradually removed from the training process as he progresses.
Cocker Spaniels can be difficult to housetrain and may wet the floor if he becomes excited. He is known to be a constant barker and may be territorial when it comes to his food and toys.
Cocker Spaniel Breed Type
AKC Group: Sporting Group
The smallest member of the sporting group.
Originally bred to flush and retrieve small game such as woodcock or pheasant from land or water, and to hunt rabbit.
When hunting, the American Cocker Spaniel uses his nose, following scents from the air and ground, to locate his prey. Upon locating his prey he flushes them out from hiding so his master can make the kill and then retrieves them.
Cocker Spaniel Care and Grooming
Exercise: Regular daily exercise such as walks and playful games is necessary to keep him fit and healthy.
Grooming: Brush two to three times weekly and have clipped every two to three months. His ear canals must be kept clean and dry. His ears are covered with very dense feathering and can be a challenge to keep well groomed.
Cocker Spaniel Health
Life Expectancy: 13 – 14 Years
Auto-immune problems: hemolytic anemia (AIHA) and ear inflammations
Legg-Perthes – deterioration of the femoral head (thigh bone)
Luxating Patellas – dislocated knee caps
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – glaucoma and cataracts
Tonsillitis – be sure to dry him thoroughly after bathing or when wet from inclement weather
Cocker Spaniel Country of Origin
United States – 1800s